Opposite Life – Reap vs. Sow

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:6-8

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

  • Galatians 6:7-10

As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.

  • Job 4:8

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

  • Psalm 126:5

“God is faithful and true. His Word cannot return void. He will do what He promises. But we still need to be faithful—and sometimes we need to wait for His timing.
“Sadly, there are many times when we give up right before we have the chance to reap a miracle. The more difficult our circumstances, the harder it can be to trust God’s plan. The more pain we feel, the harder it can be to sow in faith. That’s when we’re in danger of sowing to please the flesh, rather than to please the Spirit.
“Don’t give up! Don’t grow weary in doing good!
“If you’re in a difficult time even now, resist the urge to find a solution in your own strength. Reject the forces of this world that push you to focus on what you need and everything you deserve rather than the harvest God is preparing for you. Those forces only lead to destruction.
“What is God asking you to sow in faith? Take a step today and ask God what He would have you sow into. Keep a record of how you’ve sown and watch God be faithful with the harvest He will bring about.”

  • Alex Seeley, The Opposite Life

I have heard sermons on both of the first two Scriptures.  The fire and brimstone sermon uses the Scripture from 1 Corinthians and the sermon during the stewardship campaign uses the Galatians Scripture.  Even when the pastor is against any concept of the prosperity gospel, it seems irresistible to avoid a Scripture that says that God will be generous when we are generous.

Alex Seeley quoted both Scriptures in her chapter on the topic but spent nearly the entire chapter talking about the giving aspect.  At one down point in their ministry, she felt compelled to empty all her cash into the offering plate.  When her husband, Henry, saw her conviction, he followed suit.  Within days they had recovered the money and beyond that, they realized what direction their ministry should go.

My younger son has said similar things on occasion, but he is also the son that relies on us when times get really bad, which thankfully is a rare occurrence.

My wife was a generous person within the family when we were first married, but she had learned from her father that you placed a five-dollar bill in the offering plate in bad times and in times of plenty.  Early in our marriage, she got me out of the habit of tithing, and even today, she blames me for not being strong enough to override her lack of faith.  She would not totally commit herself to Jesus for another 25 years.

I wrote a post over two years ago about Hilarious Generosity.  It was based on Rev. Charles Swindoll’s devotion where he says that the translation that comes out “cheerful giver” should be “hilarious giver.”  It came out as the lockdown started and I intended to keep giving to the church and even increase my giving.  But our son had just had a few months out of work with corresponding major medical bills.  The in-laws paid the medical bills, and my wife and I nearly spent our last dollar paying the rent, utilities, and some of the groceries.  When I asked our church for help, the interim pastor said that when we “really” needed help, they might help a little.  My interest in giving to the church hit an all-time low.

We recovered from those setbacks, but then we have had even more setbacks.  Will a knight in shining armor or an angel in a dapper business suit knock on our door soon?  I have no idea.

What I do know is that God continues to remind me that I should be a cheerful giver, and I increase the amount as much as possible.  God’s biggest reminder is when we get views of that old 2020 post about hilarious generosity.  And regardless of how low the amount is in the bank account, God has always provided our needs.

And whether we get our money back tenfold or we see no return from what we give, we give to glorify God and show that we trust Him rather than trusting the money in the bank.

In truly believing and trusting in God, we will one day reap Joy in abundance.

Lord, guide me.  Help me to sow love toward my fellow man.  Help me to sow encouragement toward others to do the same.  Help me to rely totally upon You.  And thank You for all the promises that You keep.  In Thy Name I pray.  Amen

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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